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Saturday, June 24, 2006

[#] [1]
flickr was down last night with this amusing message:

also, when did they move from "beta" to "gamma"?

Friday, June 23, 2006

[#] [4]
happy 42nd birthday, joss! joss is the only celebrity i outright ADORE and the only one i think i'd get tongue-tied around. carl marked this terrific speech by joss illuminating just one of the reasons why i love him so...

so to celebrate, cinema21 is showing serenity tonight only and donating the profits to equality now.

(hmm, unfortunately, i just realized the mashup name between gretchin & joss is "gross" -- i guess we're simply not destined to be together. why, universe, why?)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

[#] [0]
it's my portlandiversary! i've now been in portland for exactly three years. hooray!

to celebrate, saturn & mars are setting very close together at twilight this week. mars is in retrograde and is on its way east as saturn continues westward. but because it gets dark so late, you need to catch them around 10:30 p.m. before they both slip beneath the atmospheric haze -- at which point it will be late enough to see the form of leo steeply setting. also, apparently the fickle flicker of mercury is visible just below the twin stars of gemini, but gemini has already set by the time it gets dark enough to see the stars, so i may not see that this year.

tip o' the hat to paul mcartney, who is celebrating his 64th birthday nowhere near the isle of wight.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

[#] [3]
i checked the toyota site this morning to make sure trixie's final payment has been credited and saw the sweetest combination of words and letters:

Total Amount Due: $0.00


and now that trixie is well & truly mine (what sort of -iversary does that make it? owniversary doesn't sound quite right) the universe, of course, thought it would be extremely funny if trixie chose not to start today. the fob wouldn't unlock her doors and she was eerily silent when attempting to start (sven says he heard a "horrible hiss," but i heard nothing at all). fortunately, the little battery jumper sven bought trixie for xmas did exactly what it was supposed to. let's hope this was an isolated incident.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

[#] [2]
great news! i just sent toyota trixie's last payment, a year earlier than expected! trixie was my last (and largest) debt: i financed $22,500 for her in 2001 and still had about $17,000 to pay off when i moved to portland, so i am very glad to have that over with! (is it too disloyal to be lusting after the new priuses after just paying trixie off? though i doubt i'll ever be able to afford a new car again.)

this comes on the heels of my third californiaversary yesterday, the annual celebration of the day i fled san diego and began my journey north to portland. many thanks to my upstairs neighbor jennifer, dan norton, my cousin nikki, the getty, ben, leeann & dean for harbouring me during my exodus. sunday will mark my portlandiversary, the day i arrived in portland to find michaelmas, amelia & a plate of warm cookies waiting for me.

unfortunately, these significant events were dimmed by slicing my finger open while making soup tonight. i bought a ceramic slicer, but it mistook the tip of my index finger for a carrot and i was still bleeding an hour later. i am typing this with my middle fingers.

hmmm, maybe an ironed grilled cheese sandwich will make me feel better. :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

[#] [8]
three more things you don't really need to know...

* i had the first handful of ripe raspberries from the studio bush this morning! i'm already playing lettuce fairy; raspberry fairy & tomato fairy can't be too far behind. the carrots are mysteriously invisible, though. i'm surprised they haven't sprouted yet.

* michael's getting new glasses! his eyes were huge and dialated when i took him home and he was squinting through his eyelashes. he has to wait two weeks before he actually gets his new glasses; that would drive me nuts!

* my old swimsuit was truly in tatters, so i finally got a new one. i couldn't find a suit in this town that fit me, so i ordered one online and it was delivered yesterday right before my last water aerobics class. but in a classic case of irony, it turned out we didn't have class that night. i just wish they had told us that -before- we were in the pool...

[#] [3]
what do these things have in common? me!

* voice approval if your senator wisely voted against the so-called marriage protection amendment. it's easy (i just did it this morning!): call the switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your senator by name (in oregon, Senator Wyden voted against this amendment. our other sentator voted for it. argh.). i just left a message with a staff member saying, "my name is gretchin lair from portland, oregon and i'm calling to thank the Senator for voting against the Marriage Amendment and against discrimination in all forms."

* michaelmas & i watched the last buffy episode i have not seen, the season 3 season finale. with that, what shall we watch next? alias? the avengers? the second season of dr. who he cheerfully gathers from bit torrent? also, michaelmas brought me a belated unbirthday present: gloom, by the people who brought you lunch money. i won when my family died horribly and sadly one by one until even the teddy bear was ripped to pieces by a pack of dogs.

* i am working out my schedule for october (really) and i am sad to discover that 24-hour comics day conflicts with the hp lovecraft film festival this year. i was very much looking forward to hosting one this year, but all the people i'd invite will probably be at the lovecraft fest. :)

Monday, June 05, 2006

[#] [1]
today sven had surgery to remove his lipoma, which he's had for longer than i've known him, but has eventually grown to be a bump on his back about the size of a gently curved palm. the doctor was kind enough to let me stay in the room and even take pictures while he opened sven up, dug around under the skin, and sewed him back together.

look away if you're squeamish. look away, i say!

[aftermath: click for a larger view if you dare]

now there will be rest and no lifting of anything larger than a gallon of milk for a month (a gallon of milk weighs between 8-8.5 pounds).

on a completely unrelated note, it turns out jupiter is close enough to see at least three of its moons just via binoculars. tonight was the first night in two weeks i've been able to see for myself, so i'm glad i kept checking the skies. and the moon, though only half full (or half empty, if you are a pessimist), was incredibly detailed, too.

oh, and last night we saw a very strange bjork movie.

that is all.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

[#] [0]
kristen & todd have been interested in seeing more theatre, so we've been trying to go to a variety of shows and taking some chances on plays. so when i saw the description for silence, i was intrigued but dubious:

"Amid the chaos of Viking raids and the end of the millennium panic, Silence, the young Lord of Cumbria, is forced to marry a feisty French Princess at the behest of the English King. On their wedding night both are horrified to discover things are not what they seem to be. Full of humor and sexual politics, Silence resonates disturbingly in our own age of holy war."

i had my doubts because it seemed like a period piece w/ some sort of transsexual component to it, either of which can be done horribly, horribly wrong, especially if played for laughs or snark factor. and since assassins had done so little for me, i didn't have high hopes. but for less than half the price of assassins and despite the minimal setting (including the broken row of chairs we were sitting in), we got something that felt full, round, and empassioned rather than rotely performed.

the actors had a lot to do with it: it felt like they were actually acting rather than just speaking loudly or emphatically. all the roles managed to walk the fine line between emotion and melodrama. a lot of acting is finding compassion and empathy for your characters, to find the invisible connections between the unwritten past and the current action. so i was glad to find that despite the heaviness of the subject, there were moments of genuine mirth and delight where there could have easily been satire or caricature instead. and considering the unique nature of the role of silence, the actress did a marvellous job -- occasionally it felt like she played a little too young and naive for her supposed age, but overall the effect was charming rather than annoying.

the script itself is a little unevenly paced, but many devices i tend to dislike were handled well here: character narration, love triangles, characters who have nothing in common that are maneuvered into romantic relationships. secondary characters tend to add little to the story, but in this case the maid & the priest are given their own arcs and discoveries.

there was a little too much kissing in the "oo, aren't we edgy!" sort of way; characters ocassionally felt compelled to reveal their past motivations in awkward ways before returning to their more nuanced interactions; i was most confused by the point of eadric's character (why do they let him stay and what's up with the whole mindreading thing?). but there were also a few moments of inspired anachronist staging.

so i didn't necessarily walk out feeling like i had a revelation, but i left feeling satisfied, having finally spent money on people who care about theatre. if you're feeling adventurous, silence runs thursday, friday & saturday till jun24 at the Back Door Theatre (behind common grounds coffee). tix are $15-$18.

Friday, June 02, 2006

[#] [3]
according to "websites as graphs," this is what an html dom analysis of this blog looks like:

pretty, eh?

(via kyrie)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

[#] [0]
i've only recently begun to think of email as broken. spam sucked, but once it was delivered, it was filterable & deletable. but anti-spam stuff, especially at the ISP level, is making my email life twice as hard, as my messages bounce and i have to contact the postmaster or file a support request w/ dreamhost or prove myself via a cryptic hoop and resend messages over and over again. even worse, sometimes stuff just disappears into a black hole because an organization zaps it without warning before it gets to the recipient.